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How do I know if I need an architect?


  • If you don’t know what you want, then an architect can help give you ideas.

  • If you don’t trust builders or are busy or inexperienced, an architect can help you keep an informed eye on the builders and make sure the project stays on track.

  • For comparatively minor jobs, such as redoing a bathroom​ speak to an architectural designer or technician as well that also have experience designing small and medium-sized home renovation projects for a quick consultation.

  • An architect can also be very helpful in managing the whole process. If you need planning permission (or even think you might), then an architect can be invaluable in successfully navigating the local planning authority. 

What are the advantages of having an architect?

  • If you engage an architect, you will pretty much always end up with a better end product.

  • Architects are highly trained and are especially good at seeing the “big picture” – in making the best of the space you have, in getting interesting designs, in ensuring the light is right, the feel is good, and that the house works.

  • Architects are usually good at ensuring the work is professionally done – that it meets the requirements of building control, that you have a structural engineer if you need one.

  • Architects are generally good at the detail that most of us rarely think about and which, if done wrongly, can end up being costly mistakes – which way should the door open? Should we have recessed lights? Where should the outlet pipes go? Should you be able to see the toilet when the bathroom door is open?

  • An architect can also help you find the best builder, project manager the whole works, and keep within budget. The architect is the expert eyes and ears, whose job it is to represent your interests with builders and local authorities.

What are the disadvantages of having an architect?

  • The architect’s fees generally add about 8-15% to the cost of a a full assignment project. For smaller partial assignments, the percentage is approximately 5% of the costs. If you are on a really tight budget, you will be tempted to try to do without. However, a good architect will save you money on projects, e.g. by optimizing the space or bringing extra square meters – it doesn’t make sense to cut corners on design. Whether this is your first, second or third house, remember that architects do this on a daily basis.

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